A New Dawn: Transformative Experiences in Port Silanguin
In a moment that demonstrates hope and progress, the community on the island of Port Silanguin in The Philippines has recently witnessed a ground-breaking transformation as a result of the IMPHORAA project —the arrival of electrification powered by the sun. As a result, electric light has replaced the darkness that once shrouded the community after sunset. This monumental shift marks not only a technological upgrade but a profound change in the future of the island, one powered by sustainable energy.
Before IMPHORAA, Port Silanguin was forced to operate to the rhythm of each season’s natural light. As the sun set below the horizon, the community would be forced to shut down until sunsrise. While some may think this lifestyle held its own charm, the absence of artificial light limited many activities and hindered progress.
The turning point arrived in the first weeks of November with the installation of our IMPHORAA system, bringing a new era of illumination to the island. The locals described this first evening under the solar-powered lights as nothing short of magical. The glow of the lights breathed life into the one and only communal space, drawing residents from every corner to gather together under the newly installed illumination. Nightfall, once a time only for rest, had been transformed as the community came alive with the laughter of children, the murmurs of elders, and the exchange of stories. For a community of hardworking people, where men are travelling by boat for the largest part of the day, the opportunity now had the chance to sit together at the end of a tiring day, bonding not only with other families but also with villagers from far away communities that saw the light and decided to join, signalling a new kind of strengthening for the community spirit.
Beyond the romantic notion of strengthening community bonds, it is clear that this change also unleashes a wave of possibilities—children can now study after sunset, businesses can operate later, the day’s fish catch can be kept fresh in the refrigerator rather than being wasted, and community gatherings can extend into the night. Solar power has become a catalyst for empowerment on the island.
An island powered solely by solar power is one that embraces a sustainable way of life, contributing to a regenerative future. As the Port Silanguin community begins to benefit from the warm glow of IMPHORAA-powered lights, we stand at the threshold of a new dawn, ready to explore the untapped potential and opportunities that unfold before us.
This project is supported by Innovate UKs Energy Catalyst Programme (funding by the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office through their Transforming Energy Access Programme) and UK aid and was awarded as a “subsidy” under the UK International Obligations for Subsidy Control and delivered under Grant 90935 from Innovate UK